Ok, we have a lot of ground to cover with Sarah so let’s dig right in with some questions. Ready? Let’s go.
KR: Sara, thank you so much for being here today. I’m enjoying Expected immensely. It’s full length novel, but that’s not what you’re known for. You have over 140 short stories published so how do you go from writing short stories to a full length novel? Did you find it intimidating?
SE: I tried writing novels first but was hopeless. I even had the brass neck to send off my hopeless tomes of tripe to publishers! Oh dear…so then I tried writing short stories for magazines, making careful note of what it seemed they wanted. It took another year but eventually I cracked it, and was so delighted that I carried on. So by the time I came to write Expected I had a much better idea of how to write fiction and put it all together. The story was in my head and wanted to be written, so that’s how it happened; and while it was being sent out to publishers and agents, I continued to write short stories.
KR: When you began writing Expected, did you think it would be a short story? If so were you surprised when it turned into a novel?
SE: No, I knew that Expected was going to be a novel – there was way too much stuff stacking up for it to be a short story.
KR: Is Sam Sweet a character drawn from someone you’ve known in real life?
SE: Sam Sweet is heavily drawn from experience, somewhat tragically!
KR: We’ve all been there somewhat haven’t we? How about Simon?
SE: Ah. Him. Could anyone in real life be that slimy, I ask myself?? And would he come forward and say, ‘Ahem – I think you’ve nailed my psychopathic character perfectly?’ ha ha…. See what I did there? Wicked cackle….
KR: HARRRR!! As a former nurse, was there ever a time when you wished you could stick a needle into someone even when they didn’t need it?
SE: Stick a needle in someone when they didn’t need it? Ha ha – Kate you crack me up! I did sometimes want to ignore those cries of , ‘Nurse, Nurse – I’ve pooped the bed again…..’ … for like the 7th time that day…..
KR: I honestly don’t know how you did it. o_O Expected is hilarious but also has that tragic heroine who can’t-get-a-break feel in places. Would you consider it chick-lit?
SE: Expected is not really chick-lit – although it is written for young women, and in the chick-lit style – sweetness and light is not what they will get. It’s a gritty comedy with a working class heroine who is trapped with her wrong decision (Simon) because she has no family, money, place to go, or secure job – she’s so unlucky – and she has to stand up for who she is, without incurring the wrath of the psycho boyfriend. So there are serious messages and there’s lots of gritty ‘Sod’s law’ kind of humour. No, this is not Katie Price…. In fact in many ways I have taken a risk in writing something that is not formulaic, and does raise controversial issues.
KR: That it’s not conventional is probably why I like it so much. What can we expect from you next?
SE: Well I had my collection of thrillers and chillers (3am and Wide Awake) published because I had written a lot of stories that were not suitable for the women’s mag market, but on a subject I am drawn to – the supernatural, medical/mental health scare stories etc – these are dark and twisted – how I love doing those. So my next project will most undoubtedly be a supernatural thriller – but with a very important message. This is the first time I have mentioned this – but soon I’ll be publishing a free article on this very subject – it will be free on Smashwords and it will probably shock some people! Again – it is about something stacking in my head, mounting the pressure, waiting to be told…it’s the only way I can work.
I can’t wait to find out about it!! Thanks so much for stopping by today, Sarah. It’s been my delight to have you here.
Expected by Sarah England
Sam Sweet is a failed psychiatric nurse from a sink estate in Weston Super mare. Her mother, whose husband ran off with another woman 20 years ago – although you’d think it happened only yesterday – has only one ambition and that is to be a grandmother.
But Sam is terrified of giving birth. She is easily traumatized and has no ambition to return to the sink estate and have dozens of children. She just wants a chance to do something with her life first, to fall in love, to see a bit of the world. Alas, in a drunken stupor she meets Simon – the psychopathic surgeon, who promises her a wonderful life and she believes him – because she is a dingbat and has a lot to learn.
Her latest job is injecting facial fillers and clients are suing because it’s going lumpy. And her best friend, also her boss, is sexually jealous to the point of blind rage because her boyfriend fancies Sam and does little to hide it.
Sam is coping – by shopping and over eating chocolate. But soon piles on weight and sinks deeply into debt, at which point Simon the surgeon starts playing serious mind games; and by the time it dawns on Sam just what a horrific mess she’s in – well might as well pass her the JCB because she keeps on digging.
Then as the company spirals downwards and all knives are out for survival – a new MD is brought in from the states – Joel – WOWEE – Madison! Sam and he instantly fall for each other but…her mother is now going bonkers – has booked the wedding….with the psychopathic surgeon….oh it’s getting worse…….fireworks? You bet….but that would be telling……Sarah England
Sarah originally trained as a nurse in Sheffield (UK) and then went on to work as a medical representative for nearly 20 years, specialising in mental health.
She had always wanted to write fiction, but did not begin until around 8 years ago, prompted by a house move and relocation to the South coast. Since then she has had around 140 short stories published, mostly in national magazines and various anthologies; and most recently a 3 part detective serial in Woman’s Weekly.
3am and Wide Awake was released in May 2013 by Alfie Dog Fiction – a collection of 25 thrillers, many supernatural or medically based – two of her predominant themes.
Expected is Sarah’s first novel – a comedy launched by Crooked Cat Publishing on 28th June, 2013. She lives in Dorset with her husband, Don, and spaniel, Harry.
Like freebies? Sarah has been kind enough to give us a sample of her work on Smashwords! Follow this link for a free download of her short comedy Desperate Women. coupon = SP93M
You can find Sarah online at the following:
Lookit where you can find Expected and 3am Wide Awake
Links to books: